Super Linda More Than Super, Three-Day Pop-Up This Weekend at Chrystie 141

Bingo was riotous as usual. Murray Hill and I talked about his May tour with Dita Von Teese. After all that, we kissed our crew goodnight and walked the cool night to Chinatown. The Wo in Wo Hop still stands for wonderful. Encouraged by hearty soups and dumplings, we braved the cold night to visit Matt Abramcyk and Serge Becker’s newish hot spot Super Linda. My dear friend Travis Bass was blowing up my phone, begging me to come. We passed The Odeon and I told Amanda that 20-something years ago it was the hottest place in New York. Today it is just perfectly amazing. We entered Super Linda and immediately knew it was just super. There, a small, sharp set were lounging casually in booths and tables. Vance Bookings held court, surrounded by all his unusually beautiful suspects. I introduced Amanda to Cordell Lochin, and he and I exchanged the secret handshake and a hearty hug. The deep booth had Serge Becker and his crew of hip jet-setters talking the talk. Serge got  up and gave me the tour. He explained how the new lights for the dining room had not arrived as of yet and that there were still some finishing touches to the design coming in the next two weeks or so. I loved it. The downstairs had the right amount of hiding spots and comfy booths and there was some great detailing to the paneled wood walls. It’s opening soon. We talked a bit more about the biz and small wonders and then I visited the always excitable Travis Bass at the bar.

He introduced me to Richie Cheung, the owner of that 141 Chrystie space. I exclaimed "OMG (I say that sometimes), you must hate me." I reminded him that I had written a scathing review of his place when it opened. He said, "Oh, you’re Steve Lewis! No hard feelings. You were just doing your job and we’ve made many changes for the better." I loved Richie. I would have popped me in the nose . I felt so strongly about it I almost popped me in the nose. Instead I promised to visit the new and improved space Friday. Travis ,as his norm, never shut up about this and that and what he was doing at 141. He gushed, "I am doing a three-day pop-up at 141 Chrystie Street from Thursday through Saturday next week. It will be a raging dance club party theme. Think Ibiza or rave party with the Red Egg crew and crowd. I am going to do giant balloons and projections and laser beams."

I’m always a sucker for giant balloons and laser beams, so I agreed to go Friday. Anyway, Travis wasn’t taking no for an answer. I couldn’t come Thursday, I explained, as I am DJing at Hotel Chantelle. I expected him to ask me to put on a long song …say "White Lines" and pop over for a hot minute to see his pop-up. He continued (he always continues), "Gonna bring back the old New York high-energy dance club! No more lounging bullshit! NYC is all about fun and we are bringing that back."

He told me he was doing dinner parties downstairs at Super Linda and I almost asked him if that wasn’t sort of "lounging bullshit," but I needed to get home before sun up to write this piece. New York needs Travis’ energy. We are so often ruled by the blasè. He may be a lot of things but he certainly isn’t blasè. We kissed everyone goodbye and headed to Brooklyn to our humble home and puppy and cat. I loved Super Linda; it’s intelligent and adult-offering in a nightlife world increasingly dominated by the unfabulous…the blasè.

Hot Totties: Fall Nightlife News

Perhaps eclipsed by the buzz of Don Hill’s, many under-the-radar projects are in the works for New York nightlife’s back-to-school season. While some neighborhoods are focusing on new openings – and non-neighborhoods are starting to call themselves “Kenmare” – many continue to draw inspiration from the past (not Steve Lewis’s past, but further back), hoping to add a dose of Mad Men elegance to nightlife. Here’s a shortlist of the most exciting developments destined to pack a big punch this fall.

Bars for Lucky Strike Guys n’ Gals Today, Guest of a Guest begged the question on everyone’s mind: Will new bars like The Darby and the Lambs Club restore the kind of elegance we’ve come to expect on Mad Men? Richie Akiva has talked about modeling The Darby – I had the stealthy pleasure of touring it last week – after Mad Men favorite El Morocco, and David Rabin, along with chef Geoffrey Zakarian, has collaborated on the Lambs Club’s 60’s atmosphere and classic drink menu. But the question remains: “Will people really dress up to go to dinner, will our ADD generation be able to stay in one location for the duration of the night, will we be able to put down our smart phones and make it through course after course with nothing but our conversation and a possible live band to entertain us?” If they do, I’m hoping my favorite old-school joint (and a frequent setting for Boardwalk Empire) Delmonico’s will also have a second coming.

Hungry for Something a Little Different After pulling teeth, nightlifer Matt Abramcyk (Beatrice, The Bunker Club, Smith & Mills, Warren 77) finally got the blessing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to move forward with his plan to open a 100-seat Latin restaurant called Super Linda at the old Delphi Diner space on West Broadway and Reade Street. Super Linda will open sometime within year.

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A League of Their Own I am completely jazzed that Aaron Bakalar, former Socialista gatekeeper and nightlife mainstay, has finally found a way to capitalize on the DNA of famous offspring like Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Gia Coppola, and Isabelle McNally. Bakalar just launched The Collaborative Agency, a creative agency focused on the representation, promotion, and management of significant contributors to the modern youth culture. Says the website, “The Collaborative Agency represents individuals directly engaged in the fields of fashion, music, film, and art whose inside perspectives grant them the unique ability to appear as true images of their generation and to provide distinctive insights into the state of the current market.” If you look at the endeavor from a business standpoint, even if the talent grows up to become garbage collectors (which they will not, since the roster is brimming with potential, but I’m just saying), their names will still be bold-faced in the morning papers. Since they’re born with a certain amount of access, the kids have the luxury of being “early adopters” (I will never willingly use the synonym “tastemakers”) of nightlife and culture. I’m interested to see how Bakalar will manage and promote his clients, and what affect his background in nightlife will have on the collaborations.

What will happen to the “Kenmare” Nabe? “Kenmare Street was once a lonely extension of Delancey Street, home to auto mechanics, psychics, and bodegas,” says the NY Post. “Once a total drag, Kenmare strip is the coolest new food strip in town.” Lovely of them to notice, but some locals aren’t too keen on the changing tide—especially with the Nolitan Hotel opening at 30 Kenmare this November. One of my favorite websites, Bowery Boogie, notes that the latest “trendy hotel monstrosity” is just the beginning. “It’s the newest ‘it’ spot, which is simply a euphemism for a gold rush of epic proportions. And the scene is already crowded: Travertine, Kenmare, and Village Tart are already heavy contenders.”

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The Plaza: It’s What’s For Brunch I though it was a joke when I heard the rumor, but the Koch brothers, who run the popular “Day & Night” brunches at places like Merkato and East Hampton Point, are bringing their brunches of debauchery to the Plaza. If you thought Eloise was a terror (and I hope you did not), just think about what champagne bottles, sparklers, and people passed out on tables will do for the legendary hotel. Come to think of it, perhaps the brunches will be the wake-up call the Plaza has been in need of ever since the sleepy condos took over. Their first party will be held this Saturday.

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New Openings to Try

The Hurricane Club For the Kitsch of It You may only glimpse snippets of it between deskside cocktail hour (every hour), but the Mad Men era was also the golden age of tiki cocktails, with Trader Vic-style bars in every city and town. This tiki joint from the Quality Meats peeps revels in a similar brand of inauthenticity. AvroKO did the design. Slurp booze from a coconut while nibbling ribs off a pu-pu platter.

Lincoln Bar Food Pair a splashy hypar (hyperbolic paraboloid, but you knew that) lawn in Lincoln Center with an ambitious pan-Italian resto under the command of Jonathan Benno (Per Se) and you get one hot rezzy. Hit up the bar for a quick drive by, and be the first to say you’ve already been. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Alphabet City New Bar Crawl image Bedlam The folks of Eastern Bloc bring forth stylish retro cocktailing amid stuffed bears and assorted Victoriana. Try the Bedlam Cup, with Pimm’s, cucumber, lemon, and elderflower liqueur while lounging in the ginormous main space, complete with dance floor, top notch sound, and Anderson Cooper (his BF is a partner).

Billy Hurricane’s Another hurricane trope, this bar happens to be the Mardi Gras–themed Avenue B answer to Hooters. Hooters in the East Village—it’s blasphemous! But the kitschy décor—Bourbon Street mural, porch swings, and beading—feels Disney-enough to have a gander.

Idle Hands Basement spot keeps it simple: Bourbon. Beer. Rock. Latter represented in entryway with music-flyer collage. An equally bustling spot, Idle Hands shares the space with Billy Hurricane’s, boasting more than 70 bourbons, whiskeys, and ryes.

Industry Insiders: Sandra Ardito, Giving the OK to KO

Sandra Ardito heads sales, marketing and special events for KO Hospitality Management (Cooper Square Hotel, Empire Hotel, Hotel on Rivington, and Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City). We met the hospitality connoisseur at the Cooper Square Hotel to get the scoop on the Hamptons Memorial Day hotspot, the Reform Club Inn (suites and private cottages in Amagansett), working for Ian Schrager, and why we should stay at Cooper Square (besides the fact that it’s the location of the Bjork’s afterparty tonight).

Is this the first hotel KO has developed? No, we did the Empire Hotel on 63rd Street, and we did the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City for Paul Sevigny and Matt Abramcyk. For those hotels, I would describe us as the hired guns.

Who are the other members of the KO team? Klaus Ortlieb, Yana Yevinson, Meg Burnie, Manuela Kolb, and Annie Ohayon.

How’d you get here? I was the director of special events at Chanterelle. Budgets were $250,000 to a million back then. And while there, I moonlighted by helping people open their restaurants. I opened the Harrison with owner Jimmy Bradley. I met some amazing people, like Joey Campanaro from Little Owl. I was Jason and Jen’s investor at ‘ino on Bedford street. Eventually, Meg Burnie brought me into meet Klaus at the Hotel on Rivington. That’s when I left Chanterelle. My first event at the Rivington was Timothy Greenfield Sander’s XXX Book. Bill Dye called me to be part of Gramercy Park Hotel with Ian Schrager. We opened with the Marc Jacobs party on September 11, 2006, after working for months nonstop. I shadowed Ian for the two nights before we opened the hotel. He had receptions for all of his friends and was surprised at how I knew them. He said, “You are the girl, you are going to do this.” It was like a love letter. And he trained me and nurtured me into this role. Finally, Klaus started KO Hospitality Management about a year and a half ago and asked me if I wanted to be a partner. It was very hard to leave Ian. At KO, we work with owners and developers from ground-up construction. We attaché the restaurant, the architect, the interior designer, and conceptualize the entire project.

Something unique about Cooper Square Hotel? Every book in the Cooper Square hotel was picked through Housing Works, which is a charity for AIDS victims. People can purchase the books and the money will go to the charity. Klaus is a seasoned professional who only takes on projects he believes in. He worked with Andre Balazs and Ian Schrager for years. He wanted the experience at Cooper Square to be completely different, that’s why there’s no reception desk. There’s a lobby host who shows you to your room. It’s about personal attention. Klaus sat on 575 chairs until he choose what he felt was the right one. We’re also building a screening room on the second floor. There’s an indoor/outdoor bar on the second floor as well, and a 3,000-square-foot terrace.

What is your specific contribution? The total experience here. I hand-picked the staff. What Ian and Klaus have given me, I hope to give to someone else.

What’s the next project? We are helicoptering to the Reform Club Inn in Amagansett to get ready to open for Memorial Day weekend.

What music do you listen to? Rock ‘n roll — Iggy Pop, The Raconteurs, Jane’s Addiction.

Favorite artist? Radek Szczesny.

Favorite restaurants? ‘inoteca, Little Owl, and James in Brooklyn

Favorite bar? Royal Oak in Williamsburg, Madame Geneva in the Double Crown and Bowery Electric.

Favorite hotel? East Deck in Montauk for a retro motel and The Crillion in Paris for high-end.

Who do you admire in the business? I grew up reading about Ian Schrager and then had the pleasure of working for him. He hired me to be his director of special events. The man who started the party is looking at me and letting me see his vision. It’s an honor and the best compliment. I also admire Klaus Ortlieb for his loyalty, compassion, and integrity, and Nur Khan for the incredible way he takes care of people

Who do you feel does it right? Joe and Jason Denton of ‘inoteca and Lupa

What’s something people don’t know about you? I’m an avid gardener and spend all my money on plants for my roof deck that I made totally grassroots style with my boyfriend.

What are you doing tonight? Going to Bjork’s concert at Housing Works and then to her after party at Cooper Square Hotel.

Photo: Mike Mabes